The issue of rubbish removal near popular camping sites in the district during summer is one which needs more attention, says Campaspe Shire Council.By Trent Horneman
Campaspe Shire is calling on Parks Victoria to pay up for a rubbish removal station near popular camping sites this summer.
Parks Victoria last year trialled a temporary transfer station at the corner of O’Dwyer Rd and Murray Valley Hwy, near Torrumbarry, but has no money to repeat the program this year.
At the completion of the program last year, Parks Victoria ranger in charge Kane Weeks said the trial resulted in ‘‘significantly less’’ rubbish in the region.
The shire supported the station, which last year collected 10 tonnes of rubbish a day. It places skip bins near popular camping spots, Echuca East Boat Ramp, Victoria Park, Torrumbarry General Store and Gunbower Recreation Reserve during the Christmas and summer holiday period.
Mayor Ian Maddison said Campaspe Shire was helping campers dispose of waste, but needed Parks Victoria to back up its work.
‘‘Campaspe Shire is doing its bit, but it is time that Parks Victoria or DSE need to accept some of the responsibility when it comes to garbage collection,’’ he said.
Cr Maddison said Campaspe Shire agreed to assist with rubbish collection, but did not have the budget to fund the temporary transfer station this year.
‘‘Most of the campers spend money in our shire and we realise that we have a responsibility to collect rubbish, especially on roadside reserves,’’ he said.
‘‘Parks Victoria has its ‘carry in, carry out’ policy. Well, the carry in works but the carry out doesn’t.’’
‘‘Last year we trialled the site at O’Dwyer Rd, which was a joint effort. But this year, without any advice, they are refusing to provide it again.’’
Cr Maddison said the service would cost $30,000 a year to run
‘‘It is a figure too large to just pluck out of the budget at short notice,’’ he said.
‘‘There is a site there fenced and ready to go, but we need money to make it happen.’’
Parks Victoria’s Murray Riverine ranger in charge Peter Foster said the transfer station would not operate this year.
‘‘A temporary transfer station operated last summer as part of a 12-month trial,’’ he said.
‘‘Parks Victoria secured funding and a planning permit for the 12-month trial. Although people bringing rubbish to the transfer station were charged by quantity, the transfer station ran at a significant cost to Parks Victoria.
‘‘This trial was an initiative to test the patterns of usage of the transfer station. During the trial period there continued to be issues associated with littering and rubbish dumping within park areas while the transfer station was open.’’
The discontinuance of the transfer station is a blow for residents, including Torrumbarry’s Greg Callaway.
‘‘There is the equivalent of Echuca’s population hit camping spots along the Murray during these holidays,’’ he said.
‘‘Parks Victoria introduced a ‘carry in, carry out’ policy for campers, but they need somewhere to dispose of their rubbish.’’
Mr Callaway said concerned residents wanted either the shire or Parks Victoria to step up and resolve the situation.
‘‘Visitors who camp in the region for their holidays are pretty good, they do not mind paying for the service,’’ he said.
‘‘We are talking about two semi-trailer loads of rubbish, 10 tonnes of rubbish a day. This is not a small issue.
‘‘At the end of the day, when the rubbish is left behind and the tourists have gone home, council and Parks Victoria staff come out here and clean up anyway, at ratepayers’ expense.’’
Mr Callaway said residents would petition Campaspe Shire and the State Government to help find a resolution.
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